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Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Pittsburgh (72-69)1000002003111
Cincinnati (86-57) «13000001x590

Leake, Reds defeat skidding Pirates

CBSSports.com wire reports

CINCINNATI -- Another win over a fading pursuer has Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips thinking about a really big number.

Phillips homered and drove in a pair of runs Tuesday night, and Mike Leake pitched seven innings and scored off a dash home on a wild pitch, setting up a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that moved Cincinnati another step closer to the NL Central title.

"I'm trying to get to 100 wins and the No. 1 seed," Phillips said, referring to the playoffs. "A hundred wins would be nice. A hundred wins would be a beautiful thing. I think it would be a great accomplishment."

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It would be something of a long shot -- at 86-57, they'd have to win 14 of their last 19 games. They also would have to overtake Washington (88-54) for the top seed in the playoffs.

Another grind-it-out win on Tuesday kept them thinking big. Both teams were recovering from their 5-hour, 22-minute game on Monday night, won by the Reds 4-3 in 14 innings.

Cincinnati didn't show any after-effects.

"We played a very good game tonight in all phases," manager Dusty Baker said.

Leake (8-9) gave up nine hits, including Alex Presley's solo homer and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez's two-run shot. Leake singled and eventually scored during a decisive three-run second inning off Kevin Correia (10-9) aided by an error.

The Pirates have lost five in a row and 22 out of 31, falling out of contention in the NL Central. They trail the Reds by a season-high 13 games.

The deep slump also has left them at risk of extending their unmatched streak of futility. The Pirates haven't had a winning record for the last 19 seasons, a record for a North American pro team. The loss on Tuesday dropped them to 72-69.

"We've had some opportunities," Correia said. "We're getting close. But we've got to just keep fighting. We're not on a good run right now, but it can very easily turn around with one game. I think everybody knows that."

The NL Central leaders will get by the next few days without closer Aroldis Chapman, who has a tired pitching shoulder. He walked three of the five batters he faced on Monday night, when his velocity was down from 100 mph to the mid-90s.

Jonathan Broxton, acquired from Kansas City at the trade deadline, assumes the role. He pitched the ninth, allowing a hit, for his first save in three tries with the Reds. He had 23 saves with the Royals.

Before the game, Phillips talked to Pirates reliever Jared Hughes to ease hard feelings. Hughes hit Phillips with a pitch on Monday night, and Phillips got the ball and flipped it at the mound. Phillips thought he heard the reliever make a derogatory comment.

On Tuesday, Phillips said they talked and cleared up "a big misunderstanding."

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was back after being out of the starting lineup the last five games with a sore back. He hit his seventh homer of the season in the eighth inning, his first since Aug. 15.

With the score tied at 1, Leake helped himself in the second inning after Dioner Navarro drew a walk. Leake failed to get down a bunt on the first two pitches, then swung away and singled. Phillips' double scored Navarro and sent Leake to third.

When Correia's pitch bounced away from catcher Michael McKenry, Leake dashed home and scored with a hard, feet-first slide. Phillips followed him home when McKenry retrieved the ball and threw wildly to the plate.

"I don't know if the ball hit my leg or not," Leake said. "Fortunately, Brandon was able to come around."

That wasn't the end of the Pirates' self-destruction.

With Clint Barmes on second base in the fifth inning, Correia tried to sacrifice but popped up his bunt for an easy out. Brock Holt then singled to right and rounded the base too far -- first baseman Joey Votto cut off the throw and flipped to Phillips covering the base to get the rookie.

"That was just a heads-up play," Phillips said. "He's going around the base hard, trying to force the cut-off in case their guy's trying to score. I was able to sneak in behind him. I was being the sneaky player I am. That was a key out. I felt like that was the game."


  • Reds SS Zack Cozart was out of the lineup for a seventh straight game with a strained oblique.
  • Phillips hit Correia's first pitch for his fourth career leadoff homer and the fifth by the Reds this season.
  • Holt extended his hitting streak to seven games.
  • Leake has four multihit games this season and nine for his career. He has 43 hits over the last three seasons, the most by any pitcher in the majors.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Brandon Phillips kicks off the game with a home run off the first pitch he sees against the Pirates' Kevin Correia. (Getty Images)
Brandon Phillips kicks off the game with a home run off the first pitch he sees against the Pirates' Kevin Correia. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game

B. Phillips
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

G. Sanchez
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Brock Holt, 2B4020011 .375
Alex Presley, LF4121002 .237
Andrew McCutchen, CF4000011 .338
Garrett Jones, 1B4010001 .283
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4000022 .242
Jose Tabata, RF3120100 .239
Michael McKenry, C4010012 .254
Clint Barmes, SS2020000 .223
   a- Jeff Clement, PH1000001 .083
    Jordy Mercer, SS0000000 .196
   b- Travis Snider, PH1000001 .261
Kevin Correia, P2000002 .132
   c- Gaby Sanchez, PH1112000 .222
    Kyle McPherson, P0000000 .000
a-grounded into a double play for Barmes in the 7th
b-grounded into a double play for Mercer in the 9th
c-homered for Correia in the 7th
2B - Garrett Jones (26, Leake), Jose Tabata (18, Leake), Clint Barmes (16, Leake)
HR - Alex Presley (9, Leake), Gaby Sanchez (6, Leake)
RBI - Alex Presley (20), Gaby Sanchez 2 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Gaby Sanchez 2 (10)
Team LOB - 5
E - Michael McKenry (2, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Kevin Correia (L,10-9) 6743321 4.29
Kyle McPherson 2211011 1.69
WP - Kevin Correia (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 94-58, Kyle McPherson 34-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 8-8, Kyle McPherson 3-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 28, Kyle McPherson 8
Cincinnati Reds
Brandon Phillips, 2B4222002 .293
Drew Stubbs, CF4000001 .217
Joey Votto, 1B3000100 .339
Ryan Ludwick, LF4020000 .274
Jay Bruce, RF4000013 .263
Scott Rolen, 3B4111003 .243
Dioner Navarro, C3100121 .270
Wilson Valdez, SS3020101 .200
Mike Leake, P2120000 .286
    Logan Ondrusek, P0000000 .000
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
   a- Xavier Paul, PH1000001 .305
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
a-fouled out for Marshall in the 8th
2B - Brandon Phillips (30, Correia)
HR - Brandon Phillips (17, Correia), Scott Rolen (7, McPherson)
SH - Mike Leake (7)
RBI - Brandon Phillips 2 (74), Scott Rolen (34)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Jay Bruce 1
DP - Leake-Valdez-Votto, Valdez-B. Phillips-Votto, Valdez-Votto
Cincinnati Reds
Mike Leake (W,8-9) 7933132 4.69
Logan Ondrusek (H,13) 0.1100000 3.33
Sean Marshall (H,20) 0.2000010 2.80
Jonathan Broxton (S,24) 1100010 2.49
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Leake 91-65, Logan Ondrusek 5-5, Sean Marshall 4-4, Jonathan Broxton 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Leake 7-8, Jonathan Broxton 1-0
Batters Faced - Mike Leake 28, Logan Ondrusek 2, Sean Marshall 2, Jonathan Broxton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19620
Game Time - 2:43
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Manny Gonzalez, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi